IMF and Bank of England
Readers will recall the poor report card that the International Monetary Fund gave the UK in March. The latest set of forecasts from the Bank of England set it at odds with the IMF: firstly no recession, instead modest +0.25% growth this year and +0.75% in the next two years. Inflation getting back at or close to 2% target in 2024. Interest rates peaking at 4.75% in Q4 this year. Rather a different picture to the picture painted by the IMF. Obviously we all hope that the BoE is right not least on the grounds of proving the (interfering) IMF wrong, but the lack of ongoing robust UK productivity should not be overlooked. Whatever the economic outcome may be in the next three years, the UK needs to work harder.
US Debt Ceiling
Yesterday’s talks between President Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy ended without agreement but positively they both agreed that there could be an agreement. Finally the President is engaged on this topic and has cancelled his visit to Asia due to take place this week. Markets are on hold awaiting a solution to this threat overhanging the US economy. Meanwhile Gold is at $1991 and WTI Oil at $70.89.
World Trade and Tourism Council
WTCC statistics are not normal reading for us but these figures are eye catching: tourist annual spend by city in USD billions: Dubai 29; London 16; Doha 16; NYC 12; Paris 9. It just shows what a success Dubai has made of itself as a trading and commercial hub in just 20 years with its first-class hotels, shopping malls and infrastructure.
In the USA a dozen Midwest large eggs cost USD 5.46 just six months ago, but now have fallen more than 80% to cost just $0.94. Midwest is the benchmark for eggs sold in their shells as opposed to powdered or hardboiled. Avian flu was responsible for the spike in egg prices together with higher feed and energy costs. Interestingly consumers stopped buying eggs when they reached those dizzy heights and have not (yet) returned to buying eggs further compressing the prices. Eggsellent.
Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy
For those who believe Elton John to be a recent phenomenon as well as of course an all-round national treasure, be respectful for him selling 1 million copies of this album on this day in 1975 the day of its release.
Here is the memorable Someone Saved My Life Tonight:
When I think of those east end lights
Muggy nights the curtains drawn
In the little room downstairs
Prima donna Lord you really should have been there
Sittin’ like a princess perched in her electric chair
And it’s one more beer and I don’t hear you anymore
We’ve all gone crazy lately
My friend’s out there rolling ’round the basement floor
And someone saved my life tonight
Sugar bear (sugar bear…)
You almost had your hooks in me
Didn’t you dear
You nearly had me roped and tied
Altar bound hypnotized sweet freedom
Whispered in my ear
You’re a butterfly
And butterflies are free to fly
Never realized the passing hours of evening showers
Slip noose hanging in my darkest dreams
I’m strangled by your haunted social scene
Just a pawn outplayed by a dominating queen
It’s four o’clock in the morning
Damn it listen to me good
I’m sleeping with myself tonight
Saved in time
Thank God my music is still alive
Discussion and Analysis by Humphrey Percy, Chairman and Founder
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